Two ways of talking about the meaning of words and other
We deal with relationships between
language and world.
We deal with relationships
inside the language.
Both reference and sense are different but related aspects of semantics •
- By means of reference a speaker indicates which thing or people
are being talked about .
- Reference is something haring physical existence.
My son is in the beech tree.
Referent: person referent: things
Referent of a part of language: things or people exist in the
world even something or someone that not exist but we believe
they are available.
So we have 2 things:
*the English expression (part of language)
*thing person (part of the world)
Can a part of language (word expression) have more than one
Some other expressions never
refer to different references
“ The moon"
Have a constant reference
Some expressions in a
language can have variable
There is very little constancy of reference in language , almost all of
the fixing of references comes from the context and according to
the circumstances "time , place ..etc " in which expressions are
the president of USA in 1997 was George w Bush
in 2006 was Bill Clinton
in 2009 was Obama.
Two different expressions can have the same referent.
the morning star & the evening star (planet venus)
Mohamed Nagib & the 1st president .
- The sense of a part of language
(wordsexpressions) is its place in a system of semantic
relationships with other expression in the language.
- Sense is something which doesn't have any physical
- Sense deals with intra-linguistic relationships "semantic
- One of the semantic relationships is "sameness of meaning in
words, phrases and sentences "
More than one word can have the same sense .
- same language I (almostnearly)fell over.
- school école
sidewalk (A.E)------- pavement (B.E)
Also more than one expressionsentence can have the same sense :
Rupert took off his jacket = Rupert took his jacket off.
in some cases the same word can have more than one sense :
- I have an account at the bank of Scotland .
- we steered the raft to the other bank of river.
In some cases alike sentences have different sense :
- the chicken is ready to eat .
- the chicken is ready to be eaten.
- the chicken is ready to eat something.
The relationship between sense and reference
- the referent of an expression is often a thing or person
in the world .
- the sense of an expression is not a thing at all it is an
abstraction that can be entertained in the mind of a language user.
- it's difficult to say what sort of entity the sense of an expression
is .. it is useful to think of sense as that is a part of meaning of an
expression that is left over when reference is factored out .
- it's much easier to say whether or not two expressions have the
same sense .
every expression that have meaning have sense ,
but not every expression has reference
almost , probable , if and above don't refer to a
thing in the world but they all have a sence
* there is something essential circular about the set
of definitions in a dictionary & defining the sense of
words and other expressions .
*not a bad thing
*often unavoidable >> ( e.g. cases of expressions that
have no referent " and " , etc. ) there is no way of
indicating the meaning of the expression exept with
sence and proposition
there is something semantically complete about a proposition as
opposed to the sense of a phrase of single word .
one might say , roughly , that a proposition corresponds to a
complete independent thought .
grammatically complete >> whole sentence >> smaller
e.g. a phrase or a
single word .
semantically complete >> a proposition >> sense of a phrase oryy
a single word
sense and different languages
can the same sense to belong to expressions in different
to the extent that perfect translation between languages is
possible ( a very debatable point ) essentially the same sense can
be said to belong to expressions in different languages .
the pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids
in the Giza . it's the only one of the seven wonders of the Ancient
world to remain largely intact
the relationship between :
* sense and propositions >> direct >> similarity
* sense and utterance >> not so direct >> similarity
- both referring and uttering are acts performed by particular
speaker on particular occasion .
- most utterances contain , or are accompanied by , one or more
acts of referring .
- an act of referring is the picking out of a particular referent by a
speaker on a course of a particular utterance
-- although the concept of reference is fundamentally
related to utterances , in the acts of reference only
actually happen in the course of utterances .
-- when talking about reference in connection with
sentences , or parts of sentences , we are imagining a
potential utterance of the sentence or expression in
-- in every day conversation , the words ( meaning _ means
_mean _meant _etc ) are sometimes used to indicate
reference and som times to indicate sense .